Brandon Bernard, may he rest in power, was executed on December 10, 2020, at 9:27 pm by lethal injection by the federal government of the United States. This was murder, just because it was government sanctioned, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it was murder.
Brandon Bernard was 18 years old when he was sentenced to death for a crime committed in 1999, the government and jurors had an incomplete picture of Brandon and what he did. Stacie and Todd Bagley were the couple who was shot and murdered by Christopher Vialva (executed on September). Bernard was tasked with getting rid of the evidence by burning the couple’s car. He didn’t have a leading role in the crime. The couple was dead before this fire. I’m not excusing what Bernard did, it was wrong, and it was bad. However, Brandon did not deserve to be put to death.
Brandon was a father of two daughters. He was a son. He only saw his family through a glass wall. Throughout his 20 years of incarceration, he demonstrated positive behavior, he changed his behavior for the better, and helped at risk youth with the intention of leading them away from going down the wrong path. 5 of the 9 jurors (the same ones from 20 years ago) regret their prior decision to sentence him to death.
“Bernard’s last words, which were more than three minutes long, were directed to the Bagley family, according to the pool reporter present at the execution. “I’m sorry,” he said. “That’s the only words that I can say that completely capture how I feel now and how I felt that day.” ( CBSNEWS)
If these are my last days… I hope that my death will bring a meaning other than destruction and it will ripple through generations positively.
– BRANDON BERNARD
It’s important to remember that Brandon Bernard’s case is not a one time thing. It’s the system that we currently have that make POC in this line of fire of injustice and inhumane treatment. We need to keep on fighting and keep on putting our voices out there to change this. We need to keep educating ourselves and helping each other in whatever way we can. Spreading the word, sighing a petition, making a call, being vocal, keep on keeping on to help in creating a positive change. There’s already so much pain and hurt and hardship that’s been affecting everyone especially this year. Your voice is heard and what you do is important. No justice, no peace.
Quote of AWESOMENESS: “New year- a new chapter, new verse, or just the same old story? Ultimately we write it. The choice is ours.” – Alex Morritt
This year flew by pretty quickly, huh. LIKE it’s almost 2020. Like, 2019 is nearly done. Whhhaaatttt? Okay, this year was definitely something. It was tough, surprising, and interesting. Today’s blog is comprised of a few things to do before 2020 to get it together. You need to understand that in order for 2020 to better and change from how 2019 went, you can’t keep doing the same things. So, let us continue:
1: Removing Negative Talk from Our Vocabulary
What is with all this negative talk anyway? When someone makes a mistake on a test or accidentally does something, we try and cheer them up and tell them positive things. Yet, when it comes to ourselves we can get so angry. We can get so angry at the smallest mistakes that we do. It’s so easy for us to look in the mirror and negatively talk ourselves down. Stop. This isn’t good for you or anyone. At all. Listen here pal, I know it’s a tough world out there and we make mistakes. But, the only thing to do is owning up to our mistakes and moving on. From there, that’s where you learn to grow from your mistakes and improve your actions. Words are important too. Sometimes we talk to ourselves badly too often as a joke we don’t even notice it. You need to catch yourself and stop the cycle.
2: Leave the Toxic Relationships
They exist. Toxic people. Toxic relationships. They zap the life out of you. They drain emotionally and nothing about brings anything good to your life. You might not even notice that you’re in a relationship with a toxic friend or group. So, how do you distinguish a toxic relationship? When you are with the person, they don’t bring out the best in you. Yes, there are friends who make mistakes, miss out on plans sometimes, but if it’s too constant, maybe reevaluating your relationship with that person is needed. There are many signs, although sometimes subtle, when it comes to dealing with someone toxic. It might be a bit difficult but it will be best for you. Distance yourself from your toxic relationships and healing will take place. This also means online! Like, are you following anyone on Instagram (or something) and everything you see a post by a certain someone you don’t feel good. ever. Unfollow them in real life and in person. Follow those who inspire you, pump you up, and make you smile.
3: Clear the Bad Vibeys
Maybe it was a small petty fight. Maybe it was something bigger than that. Nonetheless, you stopped talking to someone because of some unresolved matter. It sucks. Maybe that person was your best friend or maybe someone you became close with. Now awkwardness takes the air as you guys make eye contact. It’s the bad vibe series. You both feel the tensions, both want it to stop, but both do nothing. This is your sign, by the way, if you were looking for one. It might be a little hard, but take the first step to cease fire on the ongoing silent battle. Say sorry, or talk to the person about how you want to “clear the bad vibes” or tell them that you forgive them. This will help you enter 2020 with a clear mentality and heavyweight lifted from your shoulders.
4: Declutter, declutter, DECLUTTER
Before 2020, declutter the things in your life that no longer serve any use to you. Keep those of value, but learn to let go of that long-time shirt that you no longer use that has about three rips in it and sleeps at the bottom of your cabinet (we all have something like this lying around, right?) Decluttteeeeeerrrr. Take time out of your day, or week, and remove one thing (or more!!) to declutter your house. Your house will then be only filled with the things that bring you happiness and clarity.
5: Envision the Vision
Dudes, vision boards are way awesome. Trust me. Like they are basically magic boards or coolness. And, that’s just barely describing them. I would say that I am a big believer in the power of manifestation and attraction. I’ve made vision boards before and I cannot tell you how amazing it was too look at them a couple years later and realize that I’ve accomplished or got everything I put into them. Start making your vision board: fill it up with things you want, things you want to achieve, powerful quotes, and motivation. Put it up on your wall and watch the manifestation take place.
6: Grab your tools
Tools in life will help you. I mean that’s why they exist. To help you. Trust me, it’ll work. To get your whole shebang together, two tools that will be extremely helpful to you is as simple as this: a notebook and a pen. Write. WRITE. Write down your schedules, notes, and deadlines. Write it down. Look at it and use it. When I started making my bullet journal, my schedule and productivity noticeably improved! You can do that too! Taking a mental note on everything you need to do doesn’t work. I’ve tried it way too many times. So remember: write it down.
7: Mini habits to implement before 2020!
Do small things every day and eventually, the results will become so big. Small things do matter. The mini habits to start implementing:
Make your bed: First thing in the morning make your bed! I know it’s such a small task we sometimes just move past it. But, do it! It gives you a sense of accomplishment in the morning, keeps your room tidy, and encourages you to keep going your day tackling more to-dos. Also, it stops you from jumping straight back to bed when you wake up!
Night to-do lists: We may have planned things throughout the day that we may have forgotten or decided to do another time. Before you sleep, make sure you have a to-do list beside your bed. Any things that you weren’t able to accomplish or things that pop in your head that you want to do —> write it down.
Always set aside time for “me” time: You are important. Yes, you are. YOU ARE. So, make sure that in your day and week you always set aside time to take care of yourself. Meditate, listen to music, or do something that you love for your “me” time. Take care of yourself. You need time to recharge.
Dress for action: When you wake up, make your bed, hydrate, the next thing to do is dress up and prepare yourself for the day. If you stay in your pajamas the whole day, your brain can’t tell the difference between what mode they should be in. Sleeping mode? Or working boss mode? When you prepare for the day and dress up like it, your brain helps you to go into boss mode.
8: Start (like literally) Right Now
There is no “perfect time”. It just doesn’t exist. Whether it’s Monday or the start of the month, the best time to start is now. NOW. You know what’s so awesome about starting now? It’s a head start before 2020. Yup, a head start. Remember that nothing changes overnight and the process for what you want takes time. Starting working out now, start organizing now, start NOW.
Thank you for reading peoples! It means so much to me 🙂 I hope that the rest of 2019 turns out awesome. Remember: 2020 is YOUR YEAR.
The book, Things Fall Apart, is written by Chinua Achebe who was a Nigerian novelist, poet, professor, and critic. He actually considered this book as one of his greatest works. And, in 2007, he won the Man Booker international prize.
Things Fall Apart has a slow tempo at the start of the book and mainly explains the culture of the people of the tribe, located in an Ibo village and other tribes in Nigeria. The story circulates around a specific family but mainly on one man known as, Okonkwo. In the book, Okonkwo is known widely through his village as a ferocious warrior who seems to have no weaknesses and has a short temper with unsuccessful people, specifically pointing to his father, Unoka, who passed away as lazy, improvident, and hugely in debt with every neighbor. Okonkwo highly despised his father. Although, he had a tough time growing up and went through hardships that could “had been enough to break the heart of a lion”, Okonkwo was able to strive. He won fame as greatest wrestler throughout the nine villages, he was a wealthy farmer with two full barns of yam, he married his third wife, he has taken two titles, shown great prowess in two inter-tribal wars, and was one of the greatest men during his time.
The book has shown a different perspective on life and different type of people and their cultures. As the story ventures on, Okonkwo faces two main situations: first, he had to return to his motherland in Mbanta for seven years because he committed a crime categorized as female as his crime had been inadvertent. Then, the second thing he encountered was that a group of missionaries have come to their village and started spreading a new religion and faith, Christianity. The missionaries successfully set up a church located in the forest which is known to the village as their “Evil Forest”.
In the end, the tribe starts to fall apart and more people join Christianity. Okonkwo then loses his hope in having his tribe back to the way it was at the beginning. He stops fighting against the missionaries and, unfortunately, this great warrior, took his own life. At the start, Okonkwo believed that since their tribe was full of strong warriors they would survive and keep their culture together, but no matter how strong he thought they were, they still broke apart.